Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Proton and new local competition. Perhaps they could consider an additional revenue stream?

Lotus, who I am hoping to interest in my proposal... Are owned by a Malaysian company DRB Hicom, who have many divisions, Defence, Post, Automotive etc...
Proton was started by Tun Mahathir, and was recently owned by the Government. It is now privately owned.
Up until now taxis in Malaysia were mostly Protons. Now that is about to change. Toyota products have now received official blessing.
Toyota Innova MPV officially unveiled as TEKS1M cab - (Paul Tan)

Tun Mahathir is now the Chairman of Proton and Lotus. I cannot speak on his behalf, but I suspect that he will not welcome the competition!

Protons Malaysia market share in the past 10 years has dropped considerably, this won't help.

In England, my local garage stopped selling Protons a couple of years ago.
Proton, have agreements in place with Honda and Suzuki to share platforms and technology, and their new vehicles will reflect that...

Lotus will be building their next new vehicle, an SUV in China. Here is a small portion of todays Malaysian Reserve article:
The market presence of Lotus cars in China was done via Goldstar Lotus Automobile Co Ltd, a JV company between the three parties. Proton, Lotus and Goldstar will own 40%, 10% and 50% respectively in the JV company, which will cost up to 10 billion yuan (RM6.15 billion).

I am not an insider... So I don't know for sure if this is being based on an existing platform, Proton Exora being the most obvious, or with the Lotus Toyota connection, they use their engines, possibly a Toyota platfom, or as Proton have agreement with Honda and Suzuki possibly something they currently use...

Building from scratch would only make sense if it were to be a global platform possibly, selling it back to one of their OEM partners. Car Makers do that, but I'm not sure that is going to happen. You would really need an agreement up front to do that. The Platform would then have to be designed around your needs and that of the sharing OEM.

I certainly wish them all the best!

It would be nice if they could leverage their brands, particularly Lotus in a more out of the box way. My proposal does that... However, it seems a lot of people think I'm out of my box proposing it!

Here's a video showing a couple of losers talking about something similar.
Alastair Campbell was Tony Blair's media man, and Brian Barwick was the CEO of the FA.
The College is now a physical entity, here is a promo Video.
Lastly, I saw this video on youtube: I attended an ASLI conference with Alex. He was the most photographed man there!
I know a couple of other drivers from my time in Malaysia who would love to driving in this!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Old friends from Malaysia

This blog is project related, however it is also a little (not facebook) social.
I met some friends from my time in Malaysia this week.
Bernita (left), is the founder of Lekker Travel LTD based in South Africa.  She is a lovely smart person, who will soon return to South Africa to carry on with her project...
Tilo and Curtney, Tilo runs some Backpacking sites, Plays in a band, and works in Leipzig, Curtney is from Terengganu, and is married to Tilo, she works as an Interior Designer.
The unseen photographer is Florian, now a Principle at Lodestone and based in London.
We all met in Red Palm KL. A fantastic hostel that made loads of people welcome and forged long lasting friendships.
Sadly, due to its size (small) it didn't make money and recently closed. It made the tourist section of the Guardian in England, and was voted best hostel in Asia by hostelworld.
We all miss the Red Palm team, and wish them well. Shame they weren't with us!!
Earlier in the day we met Jimmy, who I met in Proton and Mila, who I holidayed with in Redang Malaysia...
Along with my father, they also stayed with us in Basildon.

We went to Stonehenge, among other places.
Mila, like Curtney is from Terengganu, she is actually part of the Royal family!
You couldn't hope to meet a nicer person. She came with Jimmy, the kids, and a family friend. No photo's sad to say... They are now in Paris.
Bon Voyage!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Automatic and topless... Way to go!

Today, I see that the Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales announced a new open top Evora is in the works. He said that for the first time in many years Lotus will be profitable!
This taken from Autocar,
On Lotus’s finances, Gales said: “We will be cashflow-profitable in this financial year and profitable in the financial year beginning 1 April 2016 for the first time in 60 years.”

This is a pic I borrowed from a comment on Pistonheads in July 2012, by a person using the name Hedgerley.

I have to say, I think it looks really good. Sadly, my opinion on styling aesthetics do not carry much weight.
Apparently, this was ready for sign off under previous CEO Dany Bahar.

Years ago, I remember seeing a TV programme called (I believe) Nuts and Bolts. The programme was talking about the demise of the British car industry. I remember a Union guy saying that the then Rover group had sent one of its sport car models stateside with a six gear manual box and a hardtop. Apparently, it didn't sell...

Having lived in the USA, I can tell you that selling a manual car to the average man in the street is very difficult. Most people have never driven a manual. Selling a sports car with a hard top is possible. IMO selling a car that is a soft top/T top with an Automatic box is a potential winner.

In my younger days, I had a metallic gold Trans Am with black T-tops. In the Detroit area the speed limit was 55mph. The roads were in a grid system. So even though it was a waste of time owning a sports car from a performance point of view, it was great in the Summer for slowly posing about town. Nothing wrong with that. Salesmen are generally quite happy to sell cars to posers!

I hear a lot of people asking in Forums, but what would Colin Chapman do? As I don't pretend to be a psychic I don't know. However, if he followed the six gear/hard top philosophy I would have to say it would be a disaster from a USA sales perspective.

Remember, Colin was happy for anyone to buy a Lotus in a Kit form, and build them anyway they deemed fit anywhere in the world. Why??... I assume, being a pragmatic businessman he thought he could sell more! Caterham and Westfield do the same to this very day.

I'm very happy to see Lotus are producing an Automatic/Soft top version of the Evora. I'm sure they won't stop making the hardtop/manual for those who want one.

Good luck with it!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Happy Birthday Proton and its Chairman, plus a few idle thoughts...

I see in the Malaysian press that the Prime minister has congratulated Proton on its 30 year birthday. The Company (Proton) Chairman has his 90th birthday tomorrow (Friday 10 July 2015).
Presently, the Proton chairman and the present Malaysian PM are at loggerheads, and making lots of headlines in their very open spat.
I am hoping the issue can be resolved soon. Rather selfishly, I'd like the Chairman to put some of his energy into getting my project approved, and possibly help with funding!
I nearly always put a picture with my posts...
So I thought I'd add my ECDL cert...(no relevance to the post).
Just a couple of idle thoughts to finish.
Lotus F1 team are having financial problems. Rumours are that it is for sale.
 It would be a lovely fit with my educational proposal.
I also saw on facebook a link to an old article saying the Nurburgring was for sale.
Again this circuit would work with project!

As I said, just a couple of idle thoughts!